Oh the misaligned prune! I had a bag of prunes waiting to be used up, there were given to me by my mum who had announced that they were revolting and can I please take them away. I’ve tried a few prune recipes in the past and used them in porridge a few years ago, which was a surprise success.
For these muffins I went for the ‘hidden’ prune option and blitzed them into the milk – it meant I could use up a lot of them at once! The nuts then add the texture and the milk the slight prune taste – and of course all the added benefits of prunes…
These aren’t very sweet, so they taste good cut in half with some spread and jam, or with some fruit and yoghurt and a splash of maple or date syrup. They freeze well too.
Prune, walnut and pecan muffins
- 100g spelt flour (or wholemeal)
- 180g plain flour
- 100g castor sugar
- pinch salt
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 100g pitted prunes
- 250ml milk of choice (I used soya, but nut milks work well too)
- 100ml rapeseed oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 50g walnuts (crushed into chunky pieces)
- 50g Pecan nuts (crushed into chunky pieces)
- Mix the flours, sugar, salt and baking powder together. Mix in the nuts.
- Blend the prunes with the milk. Then add the vanilla and oil and mix together. Add this to the dry mixture and mix quickly.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. 200c/400f/Gas 6.
- Makes 9 -10 large muffins
I went to one of my fave restaurants a couple of weeks ago (Tibbits) and was reunited with a big bowl of their very fabulous Indian Rice Pudding. I haven’t quite managed to recreate the original dish, but it got me playing around with different types of rice and spice. As we know, puddings can make delicious breakfast options too and this is wonderfully aromatic and filling as a breakfast, and it went down very well after a long run this morning.
This recipe makes 3 decent portions. Easy to make the night before and reheat. The rice still contains a bit of bite, so it’s not the sloppy rice pudding that I remember from my youth! However, I do like sloppy too – so I shall be experimenting further.
Basmati Aromatic Brekkie Pudding
- 100g Basmati rice (white)
- 400ml can of coconut milk
- 10 cardamom pods – seeds crushed in a pestle and mortar. (So about 1/2 teaspoon of ground)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon mixed ground spice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
- 4 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 60g sultanas (you can easily add more)
Put the rice in a saucepan, add the coconut milk and all of the other ingredients. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20-30mins. Ensure the rice doesn’t stick near the end of cooking – add a bit more water or coconut milk if needed. You might want to add some more ground spice if you want more aromatics.
If you make this the night before, leave the cinnamon stick and cloves in the mixture. When you get it out the fridge in the morning the rice will have stuck together into a big clump. Add a portion (about 1/3 of the bowl) into a saucepan and add some more coconut milk. I used some from a carton for this, rather than opening another can. Or you can add water. Stir well and bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins or so, until its looking nice and creamy again.
This is lovely with some fresh mango stirred through.
My staple breakfast is peanut butter and banana on toast, I would happily eat this for every meal. This morning I had a bit more time and thought about how to improvise with the same magic three ingredients. I also felt like treating myself so this is a slightly more decadent way to eat peanut butter and banana on toast with added treat value that doesn’t take much longer than the simple original version.
P&B Toasty Crumb
- 1 banana
- 2 slices of bread (I used small slices of wholemeal bread, but could easily have eaten this with large slices)
- Peanut butter (or any nut butter)
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- A few hazelnuts (I used 10) – or other nuts.
- Coconut yoghurt
Toast both slices of bread. Whilst they are toasting, slice the banana and fry for a couple of minutes in the coconut oil. Then add the sugar and toss it through the bananas and cook for another couple of minutes to caramelize nicely.
When the bread has toasted – put one slice in a blender with the hazelnuts to make the crumbs. Spread the peanut butter on the other slice. Pour the bananas onto the peanut butter toast and sprinkle the crumbs on top. Add some yoghurt and enjoy! Simple.
I love the new coconut yoghurts but find some of the brands too thick to eat very much of in one go! (Oh and the calories count is quite high). So for this recipe I thinned out the yoghurt with some plant based milk to make some overnight oats. This makes a lovely creamy and surprisingly filling (as it’s a small portion) brekkie.
Coconut Yogi overnight oats
- 2 tablespoons thick coconut yoghurt (i.e. Coyo)
- 4 tablespoons plant based milk (oat, almond, soya…)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons oats
- 1 teaspoon peanut butter (a nice runny one such as Pip and Nut is good)
Mix everything together and put in the fridge overnight. I leave the peanut butter out at this stage and add it in just before eating. This keeps the peanut butter on the runny side as it hasn’t been absorbed, so it adds a bit of extra moisture and softness.
Lovely with bananas or berries and some extra cinnamon sprinkled on top to make it look pretty.
We know that getting a good hit of protein at breakfast is a great way to start the day. This mix of powders and seeds is one way to get a mega 20g of protein into breakfast (and the mix is around 240 calories if you’re counting).
Using peanut butter powder adds the well loved peanut butter flavour without the hit of calories that 2 tablespoons of the real thing would give. Whilst it’s hard to imagine anything beating the real thing, I am a complete convert to the powder after picking up a jar on offer in Aldi recently. Although, I will never ever be without a few jars of the real thing in my cupboards too.
You can use this as a base to add to smoothies, yoghurt or overnight oats. If you mix this into 150ml of soya yoghurt you get another 6g of protein. Add some berries and you’re all set for a fairly low calorie, protein packed brekkie.
Seedy Protein Base
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) Hemp protein powder
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter powder
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Mix it all together and add to whatever you fancy.
Apricots are one of the few fruits that I rarely fancy, I think I’ve bitten into too many unripe ones and been put off, an unripe apricot is really horrible! However with the British apricot season well underway and with our wonderful hot summer, there are some lovely juicy ones on offer and I bought a big bag this week which needed using up before they went over so I started baking with them.
They work brilliantly in this loaf, which is an updated version of my old Retro bran loaf. The pairing with cardamom adds a great floral hint. Do use ripe apricots as they add moisture to the bake, although you could use up any unripe ones too.
Apricot Bran Loaf
- 100g All Bran (I used Kellogg’s but there are other varieties out there!)
- 70g soft brown sugar
- 8 cardamom pods, crushed and ground in a pestle and mortar
- 160g SR flour or 160g plain flour and 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 50g raisins
- 3 ripe apricots, roughly diced (keep skin on)
- 250ml Almond milk
- Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
- Mix all the ingredients, apart from the flour, together in a bowl and leave to soak for 30-60 minutes. Then add the flour and mix well. It should be like a very thick cake mix, add a drop more milk if its too thick and paste like and difficult to stir.
- Pour into the tin and cook for around 40 – 50 minutes at 170c/Gas 3/325f. Leave it in the tin to cool and then turn out and enjoy.
It’s great with spread and jam (apricot!) or marmalade or nut butter with some fresh apricot slices, or with some thick coconut yoghurt.
The courgettes are growing like weeds on the allotment and so courgette experiments are in full swing. They work really well in cakes and particularly with chocolate! These muffins are quick and easy to make and freeze well too. They aren’t as sweet as other muffins I’ve made, so you could add a little more sugar. I like to eat them with some yoghurt, my husbands likes to add jam!
Courgette Choc Muffins
Makes 10 large muffins
- 280g Plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- Pinch salt
- 1 heaped tablespoon raw cacao powder (or 2 tbsp. of cocoa powder)
- 150g brown sugar
- 120ml sunflower oil (or rapeseed/veg or corn oil)
- 60ml Almond or coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 350g grated courgette (skin on – yellow or green courgettes – I like using yellow)
- 80g raisins (optional)
Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt, cacao, cinnamon and raisins in a bowl. In another bowl mix the oil, milk, sugar, vanilla and courgettes. Then add this to the flour mix and stir together. Fill your muffins cups and bake at 180C/350f/Gas 4 for 20 – 25 minutes.
Let them cool before tucking in – they are a little too squishy if you eat straight from the oven (however tempting).
The rhubarb season this year has been fabulous and I’m still picking lots to play with. These are two really simple ways to eat more rhubarb for breakfast.
Rhubarb & Peanut butter chia pudding
A simple blending of peanut butter with stewed rhubarb and some oats and chia seeds and you have a delish quick rhubarb brekkie.
- 3 tablespoons stewed rhubarb
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 -2 tablespoons oats
- 50-100ml of almond or coconut milk – depending how thick you like your puddings.
Blend the rhubarb with the peanut butter and then stir through the oats, chia seeds and milk. Put in the fridge and try and wait until morning to eat it. Lovely with some added coconut yoghurt on top.
Rhubarb & Peanut butter on toast
Simples! Spread toast with peanut butter and add some stewed rhubarb on top. Nice with a sprinkling of granola to add some crunch. A very healthy jam option.
This is definitely a homage to the favourite chocolate bars of my youth. I especially loved the ‘whole hazelnut’ bars and hazelnut whirls (my mums favourite), and who doesn’t like a chocolate raisin?! I’ve added some coconut because Bounties were another favourite of mine (and my dads). Really I was just looking for an excuse to throw in all my favourite things and pretend it’s healthy – but these overnight oats are at least heathier than eating all of the above.
Fruit & Nut case overnight oats
- 50g Oats
- 1 tablespoon whole hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon raw cacao (or coco)
- 2 squares of dark chocolate chopped into bits (I will admit I used more than 2)
- 200ml Hazelnut milk
Layer up a jar with all of the dry ingredients, add the milk last and pop it in the fridge. Mix it all together in the morning.
These are good! I’ve continued to experiment with vegan baking and this time I tried the ‘just leave out the binding agent’ approach, and it worked. These rose really well without the use of flax egg or other binding agent, just shows the old school methods aren’t always the best!! The hint of ginger and the crunch of peanut makes a lovely combination. My favourite way to eat them is to cut one in half and spread it with a little bit of non dairy spread and marmalade. They are also great with coconut yoghurt and even smeared with a bit of peanut butter, and the flavours go well with some pear slices too. These freeze well – wrap them up individually in foil and freeze.
Ginger, coconut & peanut muffins
- 250g plain flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 80g coconut sugar (or any other sugar)
- A big chunk (about 2″) of fresh ginger finely grated
- 40g coconut flakes
- 60g peanuts (non roasted)
- 40g raw cacao nibs (or other dark chocolate)
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 240ml almond, oat or coconut milk (or other milk of choice)
- 90ml rapeseed oil
- Stir the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together in a large bowl.
- Heat a small frying pan and toast the peanuts and coconut flakes for a couple of minutes (constantly tossing to avoid burning). Then put the flakes and peanuts into a food processor and whizz for a few seconds to break them down into smaller bits. Add this to the flour mix along with the cacao nibs and ground ginger.
- Mix together the oil and milk and then add this to the flour mixture and stir quickly.
- Spoon the mixture into muffin tins (lined with muffin cases) and bake for 20 minutes, 180c/350f/Gas 4.
- Leave to cool before tucking in.